DESCRIBED BY THE HERALD AS 'PART JESUS, PART CHARLIE MANSON'
The Chuckle managed to Speak to Tom ahead of the Welsh leg of his fantastically funny stand up tour
Warning video may contain explicit language
Interview by Nicky Cook April 2013
I don't think I'm alone when I say I can never remember a joke or funny event - how do you come up with new material, Tom, and (more importantly) how do you remember it all, is there a secret?
I can only ever remember three jokes and only one of them to the end! It is really frustrating how some guys just remember joke after joke: people are always saying “tell us a joke Tom” and I can never remember one. The way I remember my material is, as I write it, I give myself an 'A to B' and there are many ways to get from 'A to B' so I have freedom to take the material in several different ways.
What made you make the move from Canada to the UK?
I came over to do some gigs and opportunities just opened up here so, after flitting back and forth for a while, we recently decided to move over and set up home here. I am currently revising for the British Citizenship Test - they even tell you which chapters to read (mine are Chapters 2 to 6)! - but some of these questions are so hard, man! And I know they are just gonna trip me on the figures and sh*t. I am sure if they asked half of the British public to take the test they would fail!
Do you find a difference between Brits and Canadians in the way humour translates?
I am often asked this and the simple answer is no. Any European country, including France, have the same sense of humour and relate to funny stories in the same way. English speaking countries just more or less allow anything, it is only when you change the culture that you then have to change the humour.
Some of your material is focused around your wife and children, does this ever get you into trouble with your other half?
No, Trudy has a wonderful sense of humour! After one of my shows she said, 'So you're making fun of my fa**y now, huh?!' to which the reply was, 'Well, honey, your fa**y makes us bucks!' - not in a working girl kind of way, though it does pay for some camera stuff and things! I did almost get into trouble when I bought her wooden coat hangers as a gift. I was being such a thoughtful partner, thinking, you know, she has loads of clothes on those horrible plastic hangers, I will treat her to some nice wooden ones - my clothes sure look good on them!
What comedians do you like?
When we first came over from Canada we only really knew guys like Billy Connolly, but I must say one of the first comedians Trudy and I went to see when we got here was Lee Evans. We both wet ourselves laughing; he was running around talking about going to the airport and stuff and we just thought this guy is great. Unlike some comedians who can be quiet precious about their shows or commenting on other comedians, I enjoy watching other comics.
I personally would like to say a big 'thank you' as you have regularly entertained British troops overseas, braving the freezing cold Falklands and have been under fire in Afghanistan and Iraq, can you tell our readers what this was like?
It was a privilege to perform for the troops. After seeing these men and women obeying orders no matter what those orders were, to see the conditions they are living and working in, it gives you great empathy for them. And to see and hear of the work that is not talked about on the news or in the papers, where they help people out there - civilians, children, even their enemies. The feedback from the troops was wonderful; they viewed us performing there like a little bit of home.
As co-writer and co-star of Frankie Boyle’s recent Ch4 series, 'Tramadol Nights', what was it like working with Frankie?
Working with Frankie was amazing. He is a real talent as he will write what he thinks is funny to him and then see if the audience agrees, rather that what most comics do and write for an audience. He is extremely funny and clever!
Finally Tom, what are your plans for the rest of 2013?
Well, I must say I am really enjoying doing stand-up. It just seems the older I get, the more I just enjoy it, much to the annoyance of my agents! You see, I tend to go off the road a bit, and the agents are like, 'What you doing, Tom, this was not the map we had?!' and I say, 'Well, I changed it a little!'. But you know what it‘s like, the people who write the maps don‘t like it if you change them or, better still, rip them up!